Does washington still have jurisdiciton if wife and kids recently moved out of state

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Does washington still have jurisdiciton if wife and kids recently moved out of state

I am wanting to file for divorce but my wife and kids moved to montana last month
and am not sure which state has jurisdiciton. Can i still file in washington or
do I need to file in montana?

Asked on August 6, 2018 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In order to file for divorce in the state of Washington you must be a resident (residency has no time limit there like other states) and must remain a resident for 90 days AFTER the petition is filed.  For the Courts to pbtain jurisdiction over your wife she must be personally served in the other state.  Now here is the real issue: the kids.  Once they live in Montana for 6 months that becomes their "home state" and the Courts in Washington do not have the power to make any decision over them.  But if you file NOW and ask for custody and visitation they can make orders involving them and your wife will have to come to Washington to deal with this.  PLEASE seek legal help.  Good luck.  


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